Greens urge ban on all corporate political donations as Roe 8 contractor’s donations top $777,900

Greens MLC Lynn MacLaren says new figures detailing political donations by a company contracted to build Roe 8 show the need to ban all political donations by corporations.

“The Greens want to clean up politics and we are calling for a blanket ban on donations by corporations and property developers, as well as real time declarations for all political donations more than $1,000,” Ms MacLaren said.

“This comes as we learn that Leighton Holdings and Leighton Contractors, now known as Cimic Group, have donated at least $777,990 to the WA and national divisions of the Liberal Party since 1999.

“People feel the Liberal Party has lots it way and when you think about how much money Leighton’s has been donating to the Liberal Party and the way Liberal Ministers have responded to public concerns about Roe 8 relating to the asbestos, lack of proper transport planning, lack of transparency, and impacts on community, Aboriginal heritage and the environment, it is not surprising.

“The Greens believe it is time to end backroom corporate influence from companies who seek to pollute and destroy our environment.

“Our plan to clean up politics, available at www.notforsale.org.au also puts limits on lobbyists’ influence, protects whistle-blowers and strengthens transparency provisions so that government departments must proactively release information including their budgets and contracts.

“Roe 8 is a case in point of misgovernment: there is no business case for Roe 8, nor any one of the other six stages of a Gateway Review to show it’s a good investment; there is no interest from Government in response to how to deal with traffic congestion that will arise at Stock Road or closer to Fremantle if the road ever extends beyond that and no demonstrated benefit to the State as a whole.

“Contrast this with plans for an Outer Harbour for the Kwinana Industrial Strip – an idea which until recently had bipartisan support, will genuinely provide tens of thousands of direct jobs and which, with proper investigation is likely to be manageable environmentally.”

 

The Greens Not For Sale policy will:

DONATIONS

● Implement bans on political donations from for-profit corporations, including developers.

● Implement declaration of donations over $1000 in real time.

 

LIMITING LOBBYISTS’ INFLUENCE

The Greens WA will introduce legislation that will:

● Expand the definition of ‘lobbyist’ so that includes for–profit corporations and organisations employing in-house lobbyists, many of whom are in a position to influence government policy.

● Expand disclosure requirements to include, in a timely manner: when the lobbying occurred; who stood to benefit; who was lobbied; the subject matter of the lobbying; and the meeting outcome.

● Adopt meaningful sanctions with appeal rights to apply to MPs, public servants and lobbyists.

● End the revolving door between politics and big business, by prohibiting ex-Ministers from working in a role, which exploits their special knowledge or connections gained as a Minister for a period of five years.

 

PROTECT WHISTLEBLOWERS

● Expand the categories of people who can make disclosures to include former employees, people on work experience, contractors and subcontractors.

● Ensure the capacity to escalate a disclosure should the disclosure not be acted on in an appropriate or timely way.

● Ensure support is made available to disclosers, including counselling and legal support.

● Criminal indemnity provisions to be made more flexible in order to encourage disclosure.

● Ensure disclosers cannot be penalised or pursued if they choose to withdraw or not pursue the complaint.

● Protection to be made available for people in the public sector.

● Enabling disclosure to third parties such as journalists or MP’s (subject to limiting provisions); and

● Ensuring disclosers are protected from reprisals or detriment.

 

STRENGTHEN FOI PROVISIONS

● Change the onus of proof, so that information is assumed to be available to the public unless certain criteria restricts its release.

● Move legislation that will require all government departments to proactively release information including their budgets and contracts, publishing the information in an easily searchable format.

● Advocate for more FOI staffers within each government department.

● Support transparent, accountable government that includes the public having easy access to information in the public interest.